South Orange's Andre Braugher, Acclaimed Actor, Beloved Husband & Father, Dies at 61

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Andre Braugher, 61 — a devoted husband and father of three sons, Emmy-winning actor and longtime South Orange resident — died on Monday, December 11, after a short illness, his publicist has announced.

As an actor, Braugher was most well-known for his Emmy Award-winning turn as Baltimore police detective Frank Pembleton on the television drama “Homicide” in the 1990s, and later as NYC police Capt. Ray Holt on “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” a comedy series that aired from 2013 to 2021.

In a 1993 review for Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker wrote that Pembleton was perhaps Homicide’s “most intriguing character” and that “When Braugher finishes a scene, you feel like applauding the TV screen.”

The Julliard-trained Braugher was a favorite of the series’ writers. In a 2014 New York Times’ profile, Homicide’s showrunner Tom Fontana was quoted as saying, “The show began as an ensemble piece … And it became The Andre Braugher Show. All the writers wanted to write for him because he was great and because they wanted to see if they could screw him up, throw him off his game.”

In the same profile, Braugher exhorts the reporter to have more children, upon hearing that he recently welcomed his first child. Said Braugher, “You have to build a family. You’ll never regret it.”

In a 2019 interview with Donny Levit for HistoryNusantara, Braugher told Levit, “From my perspective I may superficially appear to have it all, but if I’m not there to watch my kids grow up and create memories … then that’s hard.”

He also spoke of supporting the work of his wife Ami Brabson, also an actor of stage and screen (they met on Homicide): “I’m her all-around factotum. I’m her sounding board and I’m her roadie,” he said.

Mr. Braugher is survived by his wife Ami; his sons Michael, Isaiah and John Wesley; his brother Charles Jennings; and his mother Sally Braugher.

Andre Braugher. Photo credit: Jeff Lipsky

 

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